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The Growth of NFTs: Transforming Status into a Service

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🟪 Nfts’ Big Use Case: Status As A Service

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This issue is brought to you by:

“With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches.”

Unnamed 76

When I started as an equities trader in the 1990s, the understated way to signal success at work was wearing a Hermès tie.

Even the world’s most expensive tie would set you back far less than, say, a Rolex of course.

But a Hermès tie signaled more than just monetary success: It signaled unofficial membership in a particular tribe of discerning finance people — Hermès ties (never advertised, never on sale) were an if-you-know-you-know kind of thing.

(In Europe, at least. Visitors from the US office were easily identified by their cheesy Bill Blass and Arrow ties.)

As early as about 2005, however, it was no longer wearing the right tie that signaled success — what signaled success was not wearing a tie.

Traders still wearing a suit and tie in 2005 looked like corporate salary men, employed only because they remained in the good graces of some higher-up they go golfing with.

Meeting a trader in jeans and a T-shirt, however, you’d assume they were at a hedge fund or on a prop desk — employed because they did daily battle with the market, and more often than not emerged victorious.

If a Hermès tie signaled anything at that point, it was that you had done well in the 1990s — but not well enough to retire.

(Yes, I have a closet full of Hermès ties and, no, I am still not retired. Thanks for asking.)

Hermès itself hasn’t suffered from the change: The stock is up nearly 20-fold since 2010, thanks in large part to its ability to change with the times — without losing its timelessness.

As recounted in the most recent episode of

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